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8 Unique Employee Perks That Don’t Require a Big Budget

Free and low-cost employee benefits are perks that don’t cost you much financially. These perks are often simple to provide and help enhance an existing employee benefits package. Including non-traditional benefits in a job offer shows employees your values; they’re a promise to both current and potential employees that you’ll support them and treat them right. In the competitive race for talent, employers might consider providing the following affordable employee perks to appeal to workers:
  •  Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) or Flexible Savings Accounts (FSAs) – Even if an organization cannot provide comprehensive healthcare benefits, providing FSAs or HSAs enables employees to allocate pre-tax funds for medical expenses, easing their financial load.
  • Prioritizing Work/Life Balance – With remote work now more common as a result of the pandemic, most employees expect and appreciate greater flexibility in the workplace.  In fact, 67% of people think having work/life balance is more important than their pay and employee benefits combined.  Hybrid work, Paid Time Off (PTO), and flexible work hours allow employees to juggle other responsibilities, such as caring for young children or aging parents.
  • Learning and Professional-Development Opportunities – Establishing a culture that supports continuous learning can help foster a mindset of growth and professional development among your workforce.   Investing in professional growth opportunities, such as conferences, workshops, online courses or mentorships, demonstrates a commitment to their long-term success.”
  • Mental Health Perks – Mental health is just as important as physical health and more and more employers are prioritizing it. Offering an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that includes therapy sessions and support, mindfulness apps, and mental health days are a few ideas to encourage strong mental health.
  • Paid Volunteer Time – Encouraging community engagement is possible for employers through the provision of paid time off, allowing employees to volunteer with charitable organizations. Giving back to the community not only instills a sense of purpose and fulfillment but also can strengthen team bonds.
  • Employee Recognition Programs – An “emotional salary” contributes to an employee’s sense of being adequately rewarded at work, playing a significant role in job satisfaction.  When employees experience a sense of value, recognition, and appreciation for their contributions, they are more likely to enjoy their work and find it meaningful.  Employers can implement a system to publicly acknowledge and reward employees for their work.
  • Financial Education Workshops – More employees today want guidance to increase their financial literacy. To address this demand, employers can offer resources or workshops focusing on personal finance management, budgeting, and retirement planning. Empowering employees with financial literacy can enhance overall well-being and relieve stress.
  • Summer Hours and/or Casual Dress Code – Allowing casual dress on certain days allows workers to be themselves which contributes to a sense of belonging in the workplace.  This could include casual Fridays or a relaxed dress code during the hot summer months.  Additionally, closing an hour or two early on a Friday demonstrates flexibility and can improve employees’ work/life balance during vacation season.
You don’t need to have a fat wallet or offer more employee benefits than your competitors to win over top talent. These low or no-cost perks that employees value create a fulfilling work environment that, in turn, attracts and retains top talent!